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Volume 2084
Danton Burroughs Family Scrapbook Series

To Edgar Rice Burroughs Esq
care of Methuen & Co. Ld.
36 Essex Street Strand W.C. London

Dear Sir

When I last saw the late Carl Hagenberg (sic), the celibrated Animal Dealer, just before he died he told me that He was positive that, in the swamps of Central Africa there still exist THE GREAT PREHISTORIC LIZARDS & DRAGONS WHICH ONE FINDS IN FOSSEL (sic) REMAINS, in other parts of the world. He said that two of his Travellers (who went all over Africa to buy live animals for him) TOLD HIM POSITIVELY THEY HAD SEEN THEM (these men came quite independant of each other & each wanted to have the honour and profit of catching some alive for Hagenbeck).

I am telling you this as it might be of use to you in your next Tarzan of the Apes book.

yours very truly

Walter Winans
P.S. Are you not mistaken in putting deer into your african books, I think there are only antelopes never deer in Africa?

November 15th 1919  sj
Dear Sir:
Your letter of September er 19th, addressed to me in care of Methuen & Company, Ltd., has just reached me through the medium of my American publishers in Chicago.

I am very much interested in what you tell me relative to the existence of supposedly extinct prehistoric reptiles in some part of Central Africa. If you can suggest how I might get in touch with the two travelers who went out for Mr. Hagenbeck and discovered these reptiles, I will greatly appreciate it.

I note what you say relative to there being no deer in AFrica, and believe that you are right. I cannot recall now, it has been so many years since I wrote the first Tarzan book, why I spoke of Bara the deer, instead of Bara the antelope. I think, however, it was due to the fact that in the account of some hunter or explorer in Africa the word "deer" was used, and I have relied largely upon the works of trained observers for the accuracy of my reference to the flora and fauna of Africa. I am glad, however, that you called my attention to this matter.

Thanking you for your interest, I am,

Very sincerely yours

Mr. Walter Winans
Carlton Hotel,
Pall Mall, S.W.I.,
London, England.


Dec 4th 1919

To E. Rice Burroughs Esq
Van Nuys. Calafornia
Dear Sir

I am glad you were interested in my letter re supposed prehistoric reptiles still being in existance in central Africa.

Before I get your letter I saw, in several of the English papers last month, that there is again this rumour of some of the prehistoric reptiles (called "dragons" in the middle ages) have been seen in the swamps in in the Belgian Congo, "with long tusked snouts, eleven (?) feet, over 24 feet long. My idea is that, what were called the "dragons" like St. George & St. Michael killed, were the last remaining examples of the pre-historic reptiles which survived, just like the last wolf was killed in Scotland the end of 1769.

Hagenback (the old gentleman who died a few years ago) was firmly convinced that these prehistoric reptiles still existed in the swamps in central Africa, also that Mamoths were in Siberia, & that, in the South Polar Regions, there was some enormous animal which has not yet been discovered.

He said that sea-lions, & walrusses had been killed which bore traces of having been bitten by & escaped from, some enormous animal which had a mouth grip twice as large as the biggest polar bear.

Hagenback did not tell me the names of his two travellers, he never let anyone know, as he was very jealous of anyone knowing where & how to get wild animals alive, as he of course wanted to keep the business in his own hands, but he wanted me to finance his business, & no doubt, if he had not died, he would have gone into the matter with me.

He was full of most interesting information about animals which no other naturalist had.

He used to feed his big snakes by tying some meat to a live duck or rabbit by a short length of thin rope so that the snake, when it had killed the duck or rabbit, had to swallow the meat as well, as he always hated the idea of giving more

live animals to snakes than he could help; he was the most tender hearted man I ever knew, & looked on animals as his friends, his lions purred & rubbed their heads against him like cats.

He told me he had only shot an animal once, it was a hare & it screamed & he could never shoot again.

Hagenbeack's two sons keep on the Business, you had better address HAGENBECK, STELLINGEN, HAMBURG, GERMANY.

If you tell them I spoke to you about their late Father Carl Hagenbeck, & the prehistoric reptiles in central Africa they will give you all information, they are very nice young fellows.

Tey have just got on Tarzan of the Apes at the Cinemetograph Theaters here now, it is very well done, but it is a pity the elephant is an Indian instead of an african one, I suppose african elephants are difficult to tame.

The little girl who is Tarzan when young, acts very well, but I wish the professor knew better how to carry his rifle he keeps point it at everyone, perhaps though it is in character.

I should like very much if you would let me know if you use the idea of the prehistoric reptiles in a book; I did an equestrian statue of St. George & the Dragon in which I put in a prehistoric reptile ( I forget the name but it was the one with very big eyes, on a long neck) & found it very effective. I have also heard, from a Burmese "Princess" who called the other day, who wants to sell me "Tree climbing hounds", she says they are called the Imperial Burmese Hounds & have never up to  now been see out of Burmah.

They are usually used for hunting the "Barking Deer", but can run up tress, the dark brown, short hair, & very lightly built like "grey hounds" which are used in Europe.

I am seeing if I can get a pair over, but I do not believe in their tree climbing powers

Yours very truly
Walter Winans (sig)

Dec 8th 1919

To E. Rice Burroughs Esq
Van Nuys. Calafornia

Dear Sir

The below, from the Daily Express London of today's date, seems to confirm Hagenbeck's statement that there are pre-historic reptiles in Africa still existing.

yours very truly
Walter Winans

December 29th 1919  sj
Dear Sir

I have your very interesting letter of December 4th, for which please accept my thanks.

I wish that I might have known Mr. Hagenback as he must have possessed a fund of interesting lore relative to wild animals in addition to what was in his absorbing book.

I am glad that you liked the film version of Tarzan of the Apes. I think they changed the story rather unnecessarily. As far as I know it is practically impossible to get an African elephant here, and as a matter of fact there is not one person in ten thousand who knows the difference, an elephant being an elephant to nearly all of us.

It was a boy, Gordon Griffith, who had the part of the boy Tarzan. I too thought that he did very well, in fact better than the man who took the part later.

I have used prehistoric animals in seven or eight stories but none of these was located in present day Africa. None of these stories has appeared in book form yet although they have run in the magazines here and eventually my publishers will probably reach them.

Again thanking you for your letter and with kindest regards, I am,

Very sincerely yours,
Mr. Walter Winans,
Carltong Hotel
Pall Mall S.W.1.
London, England.
January 3rd 1920  sj
Dear Mr. Winans:

I am in receipt of the two newspaper clippings and the copy of Hamlyn's Menagerie Magazine which you so kindly sent me.

There seems to be plenty of evidence to indicate that Mr. Hagenback's agents may have seen some remarkable monster such as he told you of. It is all very interesting and certainly very stimulating to the imagination.

Again thanking you and with kindest regards and best wishes for the new year, I am,

Very sincerely yours,

Mr. Walter Winans
Carlton Hotel,
Pall Mall S.W.1.
London, England.

Carl Hagenbeck (1844 - April 14, 1913) was a wild animal merchant who supplied zoos and circuses. He designed natural animal pens so as to present animals in their native habitats and as such he is generally recognized as father of the modern zoo. He pioneered the use of rewards-based animal training as opposed to fear-based training.

Hagenbeck's Menagerie: Animal Show and Circus

Hagenbeck's animal show was a major attraction at Chicago's spectacular Columbian Exposition of 1893

Ed Burroughs spent the summer of '93 on the grounds of the Exposition - first as a cadet with the Michigan Military Academy that put on regular drill exhibitions on the grounds and then as a worker with for his father's ABC battery company which had a display in the giant Electricty Building. During this time he drove Chicago's first electric horseless carriage all around the grounds as part of the promotion of the ABC company.

The following excerpt is from Bill Hillman's ERBzine docu/novel:
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Remarkable Summer of '93

"The other midway attraction that lured me in every few days was the Hagenbeck's Wild Animal Arena and Museum. Carl Hagenbeck claims to have domesticated and trained more wild animals than any living man and his menagerie included elephants, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, dogs, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, ponies, zebras, and boars. The whole arena was adorned with countless monkeys and exotic birds such as storks and parrots. The animals were displayed in such a way that it was hard to believe they were in captivity and their interactions provided infinite combinations and forms of entertainment. 


"Prince, the equestrian lion, rode on horseback and leaped over banners with the grace and agility of a circus girl. A second lion rode in a chariot, drawn by a pair of Bengal tigers, while another tiger balanced himself on a revolving globe. Polar bears walked a tight rope, and black bears rolled down a toboggan slide. White goats frolicked around the ring in company with spotted leopards, and a tiny poodle held a hoop for a great black panther. So tame were the beasts that at times the chief keeper regularly took groups of them for an airing past our camp and around the Plaisance, despite the protests of Columbian guards and special police. Bert and I each swore that we would visit the jungles of Africa sometime in our lives."

Hagenbeck's Animals
Hagenbeck's Animals in Natural Setting in 3D

Hagengack's camels"Our journey down the midway was interrupted by a parade of Carl Hagenbeck riders on camels followed by a crowd of curious fairgoers. Mr. Hagenbeck led the parade and was using a speaker cone to invite everyone to his animal show that was about to begin. We joined in with the enthusiastic crowd and were soon seated in the zoological amphitheatre to await the afternoon show. 

"Emma had read my earlier journal entry in which I had shared my excitement over this incredible menagerie. The animals are all displayed, without cages, in pits and natural settings. Both she and Jessie now witnessed firsthand what all the hoopla was about and after their initial uneasiness in being so close to these wild beasts, they were soon captivated by the amazing animal antics in the ring."


Tarzan Finds a Son:
The Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus provided elephants for the stampede in this 1939 film.
Tarzan's New York Adventure:
MGM rented the entire Hagenback-Wallace Circus and set it upon their back lot 
for the filming of this 1942 Tarzan movie.

    Joe Skelton, the father of Red Skelton, once worked as a clown in the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. 
Red, himself, performed with the same circus as a teenager before entering vaudeville.

    Emmett Kelly got his start as "Weary Willie" during the Great Depression with Hagenbeck-Wallace
before moving on to other circuses.

     In 1937, cowboy, rodeo performer, and movie actor Hoot Gibson performed with the circus.

One of the worst circus train wrecks in U.S. history occurred just before 4:00 AM on June 22, 1918, 
when a locomotive engineer fell asleep and ran his empty troop train
into the rear of the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus train near Hammond, Indiana.

The building in Peru, Indiana that formerly housed the winter home of Hagenbeck-Wallace 
now serves as the home of the Circus Hall of Fame.

The Son of Tarzan excerpt: Chapter 2 

 Mr. Harold Moore was a bilious-countenanced, studious young man. He took himself very seriously, and life, and his work, which latter was the tutoring of the young son of a British nobleman. He felt that his charge was not making the progress that his parents had a right to expect, and he was now conscientiously explaining this fact to the boy's mother. 

 "It's not that he isn't bright," he was saying; "if that were true I should have hopes of succeeding, for then I might bring to bear all my energies in overcoming his obtuseness; but the trouble is that he is exceptionally intelligent, and learns so quickly that I can find no fault in the matter of the preparation of his lessons. What concerns me, however, is that fact that he evidently takes no interest whatever in the subjects we are studying. He merely accomplishes each lesson as a task to be rid of as quickly as possible and I am sure that no lesson ever again enters his mind until the hours of study and recitation once more arrive. His sole interests seem to be feats of physical prowess and the reading of everything that he can get hold of relative to savage beasts and the lives and customs of uncivilized peoples; but particularly do stories of animals appeal to him. He will sit for hours together poring over the work of some African explorer, and upon two occasions I have found him setting up in bed at night reading Carl Hagenbeck's book on men and beasts." 


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